The digital revolution is changing almost every area of our lives. It is affecting the everyday routines of all generations. We aim to play our part in enabling everyone to make positive, active and equal contributions to these changes. This also means using digital media responsibly and critically. We are therefore advocating opinion forming and trust building online using the Deutsche Telekom initiative “Media sure! But secure.”
Under the umbrella of www.medienabersicher.de, we have brought together a range of activities to boost the media skills of children, young people, and adults of all ages. Information is available for everyone to find on their own online, but there are also activities that involve problem-solving in teams. Special guidelines are also available for disseminators such as teachers and volunteers. The content covers core issues such as data protection and security using educational methods tailored to suit a range of target groups, but also includes less familiar topics such as “digital legacy”. The information includes everything from the legal frameworks and technical background to practical examples and application guidelines. All materials are provided in at least three language versions – German, English and simple language.
The “Teachtoday” initiative, which we have been responsible for since 2014, and the associated children’s magazine “Scroller”, are also part of “Media sure! But secure.” Our new activities relating to the “1001 TRUTHS” initiative have also been brought under the umbrella of “Media sure! But secure.” This initiative is primarily targeted at adults, and addresses the latest digital issues. The idea came about at a campaign day in July 2017, co-hosted by Deutsche Telekom AG and the Deutsche Telekom Stiftung. One of the aims was to inform participants about the differences between half-truths, hoaxes, and facts posted online and to raise their awareness of the need to question the reliability of sources. The “Media sure! But secure.” platform also addresses these issues. The team that is responsible for the platform uses innovative, didactically effective formats to develop the material together with state-of-the-art technologies to create the modules. We showcased “1001 TRUTHS” on “Digitales Ehrenamt” day (Digital Voluntary Work Day) during the 2018 Woche des bürgerschaftlichen Engagements (Community Volunteering Week) and at the 2018 Deutscher Arbeitgebertag (German Employers’ Day).
The initiative also occupied a guest slot at our first vacation programs for young people, run in our flagship store in Düsseldorf during October 2018. This innovative program offers a wide range of activities for young people between the ages of 14 and 21, including interactive workshops on topics such as virtual reality and digital responsibility. The concept was co-devised and organized by a number of Deutsche Telekom units, the retail company Telekom Shop-Gesellschaft, and Code+Design Initiative e.V..
The Teachtoday initiative supports children, young people, parents, grandparents and teachers by providing practical tips and materials on how to use media safely and proficiently – irrespective of age, previous experience or potential limitations. One of the tools developed by the initiative is a media obstacle course that offers a fun way of learning about how to use digital media safely. In 2018, some of the stations in the obstacle course were translated into simple language versions and presented at a summer event hosted by an organization based in Bonn that helps people with disabilities live with greater independence.
All information and materials are available at www.teachtoday.de in seven languages (German, English, Croatian, Montenegrin, Polish, Romanian and Hungarian) and cover a wide range of topics centering on family, school and leisure time. The materials prompt families and teachers to communicate with each other and to encourage children and young people to develop appropriate skills and help shape the digital world.
Teachtoday also has its own YouTube channel with short catchy videos about safe, proficient internet use, data protection, and how truthful people are online.
Projects win awards at the Summit for Kids
In 2018, the annual “Media sure! But secure.” competition focused on the topic of “Responsibility online”. A call was put out for projects that show how children and young people can take responsibility online. After qualifying for the final in a public online poll, six teams presented their concepts at this year’s Summit for Kids in November 2018. First place was awarded to Class 7a from Georg Friedrich Händel Grammar School in Berlin for their video featuring a song they wrote that shows typical ways children and young people use digital media and offers tips on how they should behave.
Events with our partners – taking online safety on tour
As part of 2018’s Safer Internet Day, the Teachtoday initiative invited children to attend a day of campaigning at the Deutsches Museum Bonn. Under the slogan “Create, connect and share respect: A better internet starts with you”, Dr. Thomas Kremer, Board of Management member for Data Privacy, Legal Affairs and Compliance at Deutsche Telekom, talked with over 50 schoolchildren from Elisabeth Selbert Comprehensive School about their responsibilities when using the web. Afterwards, the children attended workshops on the challenges young people sometimes face when using messenger services, YouTube or social media. The participants created their own comics and animations to show that you can’t share other people’s photos without asking them first, that there are fundamental rules for chatting online too, that you shouldn’t blindly follow influencers and there are some private things that don’t belong on the web.
Teachtoday was also present at the “Media 2018” Federal Youth Conference held in March 2018 in Rostock. More than 300 “media scouts” took part – specially trained young people who advise their fellow students on how to use the internet. During the event, Teachtoday showcased its wide range of materials that the media scouts can use at school, including a media proficiency test and the media obstacle course.
An award-winning initiative
In 2018, Teachtoday received two “Comenius EduMedia Awards” from Gesellschaft für Pädagogik und Information (Association for Teaching and Information). The first, in the “IT, communication and media education” category, went to the initiative as a whole and the second, in the “General multimedia products” category, went to the Scroller media magazine.
Deutsche Telekom also secured victory in the #SaferInternet4EU Awards, which were launched in 2018 as part of the campaign of the same name formed by Mariya Gabriel, the EU Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society. The objective of this campaign is to help schools, associations for young people, parents, children and young people make the internet a safer place. The awards recognized exemplary projects by organizations, teachers and schoolchildren that work towards the same aim. Deutsche Telekom’s Teachtoday initiative came second place in the “Organizations” category.
Getting young people excited about IT is the aim behind the “Code+Design Camps@Deutsche Telekom”. We organized the first of these camps in 2018, from August 23 to 26 in the Telekom Dome, Bonn, and October 22 to 27 in our flagship store in Düsseldorf. Under the professional guidance of dedicated employees from our IT department, some 150 youngsters aged 14 to 21 got to grips with new technologies and honed their IT skills, designing and programming apps, websites, games and robots based on their own concepts and ideas. Previous knowledge of programming was not a prerequisite to attending the event. The camps, which gave our staff a chance to discover intergenerational learning, too, also focused on teamwork and creativity. What’s more, an exciting entertainment program got the ideas flowing in Düsseldorf, with participants given the chance to try out a 3D printer, enter the world of virtual reality, compete with a professional eSports team and have a go at DJing. The one-week event was complemented by talks on topics such as the darknet, digital friendships, digital loneliness and proper conduct on social networking sites.
On November 21 and 22, the Telekom Dome in Bonn also played host to a “Code+Design Camp Special” for employees of the Data Privacy, Legal Affairs and Compliance Board department. Among other things, the program included a programming and robotics workshop and a taster session on topics such as hacking, social engineering and the darknet.
The concept for the camps is based on a collaboration between the Berlin-based start-up Code+Design Initiative e.V. and Deutsche Telekom AG. This new training and development format stems from the IT@Motion transformation initiative launched by Deutsche Telekom IT. Further Code+Design Camps are planned for 2019 in various departments and Group locations.